Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding By the Numbers
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now called the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They got married on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the 15th-century St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. She walked up 22 steps to the chapel while 7-year-old twin pageboys carried her 16.5-foot veil.
They invited 600 guests to their intimate ceremony, including 33 celebrities and 30 members of the royal family, which included Harry's 96-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip who made his first public appearance since having a hip replacement five weeks ago.
Only one member of Meghan's family attended. It was her 61-year-old mother, Doria Ragland who traveled 11,000 miles from her native California to London.
Cast members of "Suits" were well represented. Meghan had a starring role on the legal drama for seven seasons until she gave up acting after she became engaged in November 2017.
Ten royals are buried in Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth will be buried there.
More than 5,000 British and foreign media and support staff were given credentials to cover the royal wedding ceremony and carriage ride. However, they did not cover either one of the receptions.
- 160 photographers and reporters
- 79 television broadcasters from around the world
- About 46 United States TV broadcast affiliates
There was no maid of honor. Meghan said she had too many possibilities; therefore, she chose not to select anyone. Prince Harry's older brother was William. Harry was William's best man in April 2011 when William and Kate Middleton married.
There were 10 children following Meghan up and down the aisle. It is a royal custom to have children in the wedding party. The children ranged in age from 2-7 years old.
The oldest of the children were only seven which included a set of twin boys who lifted Meghan's 16.5 feet veil as she went up the stairs and down the aisle.
The bride and groom selected five of the 10 children.
- Zalie Warren, 2, Harry's goddaughter
- Princess Charlotte, 3, Harry's niece
- Florence van Cutsem, 3, Harry's goddaughter
- Remi Litt, 6, Meghan's goddaughter
- Rylan Litt, 7, Meghan's goddaughter
- Ivy Mulroney, 4, Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney's daughter
- Prince George, 4, Harry's nephew
- Jasper Dyer, 6, Harry's godson
- Brian Mulroney, 7, a twin of Jessica Mulroney
- John Mulroney, 7, a twin of Jessica Mulroney
About 250 members of the British Armed Forces were involved in the wedding. Most of them came from units that have a connection with Prince Harry:
Wedding Gown and Train
The bride's wedding gown was the creation of British designer Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, a French fashion house. No price has been publicly released, but it is speculated to have cost around $540,000.
It took four months for the designers and her team to complete the dress. Workers did not know who they were making the dress for.
The 16.5-foot train had 53 different flowers that represented the countries of the Commonwealth of which she and her new husband will be ambassadors. She also included two of her favorite flowers that grow in her native California. They are the wintersweet and the California poppy. The flowers were symbols of Megan's past and her future.
It took hundreds of hours to hand sew the flowers on the veil. The workers had to wash their hands every 30 minutes to make sure the fabric remained free of dust and dirt.
California native pastry chef Claire Ptak had a team of 6 bakers helping her make the three-part layered cake that took a week to make and was completed on Saturday morning. Ptak's East London’s Violet Bakery used the following ingredients in the lemon and elderflower wedding cake:
- 500 organic eggs from Suffolk
- 200 Amalfi lemons
- 20kg each of butter, flour, and sugar,
- 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial
Number of Well-Wishers
More than 100,000 people lined the streets in the small town of Windsor. The town has a population of about 30,000. Needless to say, the town was full of people who were there for that special occasion. Some of them started camping out five days before the wedding.
They were able to see the newlyweds during their 25-minutes carriage ride after the ceremony. They rode on a 19th-century Ascot Landau carriage pulled by four Windsor Grey horses.
Prince Harry and Meghan invited 2,640 members of the public to be on the ground of Windsor Castle.
The breakdown of those invited included the following:
- 200 people from charities the bride and groom are associated with
- 100 students from two local schools
- 610 people associated with the Windsor Castle community
- 530 members of the royal households and crown estate
- 1,200 people chosen by the Queen’s regional Lord Lieutenants, including young people who have shown strong leadership and those who have served their communities
The Kingdom Choir, who performed the 1961 Ben E. King hit "Stand By Me" during the ceremony was made up of 20 singers. The choir was personally invited by the couple along with their selections to sing. The other song was "Amen" that was sung as the newlyweds walked down the steps to greet the well-wishers on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The word "love" was used 65 times in the 14-minute sermon.
The sermon that was delivered by The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. He focused on the redemptive power of love. He used the word "love" 65 times in the 14-minute sermon.
The bishop quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. twice, once at the beginning and again at the end of his sermon.
There was a reception following the ceremony and the carriage ride. It was hosted by Queen Elizabeth and all 600 guest who attended the wedding were invited.
The evening reception was host by Prince Charles in the 230-year-old Frogmore House. That reception took place from 7.30 p.m. until the early morning. It was for only 200 close friends and family members.
The guests had time to change clothes before the wedding started at 12:06 p.m. and was over one hour later at 1:06 p.m.
1968 Vintage Jaguar
Harry drove his new wife from Windsor Castle to Frogmore House for the evening reception in a silver-blue classic convertible Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero. It was originally manufactured in 1968, but it has been converted to electric power.
As the newlyweds drove off, the license plate of the car was seen which had the date of their wedding: E190518. That's the way the British write their dates with the year first, the month and then the date.
Charity Donations Instead of Gifts
Prince Harry and Meghan requested no wedding gifts. Instead, they encouraged people to donate to seven of their selected charities even though they have no direct association with any of them.
Cost of Wedding
Experts estimated that the royal wedding cost $42.8 million. About 94 percent of the budget went toward security.
The revenue that was spent for the wedding was a lot of money, but the amount that came in for the British economy was much more. This was due to the sale of memorabilia, tourism, and other expenses associated with the thousands of people who came to Windsor just to be where the wedding was taking place even though only 600 were invited to the ceremony.